For The Key’s year-in-review, we asked our trusted sources – our writers and photographers, XPN’s on-air staff, fellow bloggers in the Philly scene and even a few musicians – to send us their Top Five Whatevers. Could be the traditional music route – albums, songs, concerts of the year – or it could be only loosely connected. We’ll be sharing these recaps every day through to the end of the year. Today, contributing writer Elliott Sharp shares his top five local albums to listen to loudly with headphones.
1. Bee Mask – When We Were Eating Unripe Pears (Spectrum Spools)
The experimental electronic musician Chris Madak stretches sounds so far your ears will rip, and bleed, and it feels delicious, like an unripe pear.
2. Nick Millevoi – In White Sky (Flenser)
The Many Arms guitarist’s bleakest and scariest solo work so far.
3. Superlith – Plasma Clusters (Eh?)
The trombonist Dan Blacksberg and circuit-bent Casio keyboardist Julius Masri unleash droning, brutal, bubbling and gorgeous noise.
4. Starkey – Orbits (Civil Music)
Digi-orchestral splendor, hard melodics and trunk-busting bass thrive on electronic music artist Starkey’s deep-space opus.
5. +HIRS+ – NUNMILK (Human Beard)
The queer-grind duo deliver violent, blistering, devil-worshipping ditties that never last longer than 57 seconds.
Bonus: Mary Lattimore – Mary Lattimore (self-released)
On her first solo album (Arc In Round’s Jeff Zeigler plays synth on the 25-minute-long opener), harpist Mary Lattimore contrasts blissful melodic sweeps with the eerie warbles, blurs and drones realized by (gently) ramming her harp through effects pedals.